The roll out of clinical intelligence systems – or clinical dashboards – could be partly supported by central funding.
Simon Eccles, medical director of NHS Connecting for Health, told E-Health Insider that once the pilot phase of the dashboards project is completed in spring 2010, CfH will look at how it should be rolled-out and which parts will be centrally funded.
He said: “The aim is to centrally fund elements that are most cost effective; we are currently working out where we will draw the line. At present there is no proposal to fund the entire programme centrally; trusts will need to work out whether it is a good investment for them.
“We do not wish to be a free good for trusts to take. If we did, we’d see people taking it because it was free and not because they want to generate quality improvements.”
A dashboard is a toolset of visual displays developed to give clinicians relevant and timely information, alongside national metrics to encourage comparison with other services and improved patient care.
Eccles said: “The dashboards provide clear and formatted healthcare data. The thought runs that if you allow people to see what they are doing in terms of quality of care they are more likely to self congratulate and improve.”
At the moment, the dashboards are being piloted at 11 trusts across England’s ten strategic health authorities. In May, System C was awarded a nine month contract to design, develop and pilot the clinical intelligence systems.
Eccles said: “System C is extracting the data for clinical systems, preparing the data for presentation and building a layer so it can be seen. From October, the technology to enable trusts to do this will be available on the market.”
There will be a new procurement process early next year to decide who will support and develop the dashboards for the national roll-out.
“Several trusts are already ringing up saying that they want one and asking how they can get one because they have got a particular area where we need to know what is going on and they need to improve,” Eccles added.